Today in History
Today is Thursday, May 4, the 124th day of 2023. There are 241 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.
On this date:
In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.
In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal from the French.
In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)
In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)
In 1945, during World War II, German forces in the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany agreed to surrender.
In 1961, the first group of “Freedom Riders” left Washington, D.C., to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.
In 1998, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski (kah-ZIHN’-skee) was given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, California, under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.
In 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley, wife of actor Robert Blake, was shot to death as she sat in a car near a restaurant in Los Angeles. (Blake, accused of Bakley’s murder, was acquitted in a criminal trial but found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay damages.)
In 2006, a federal judge sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) to life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks, telling the convicted terrorist, “You will die with a whimper.”
In 2011, President Barack Obama said he had decided not to release death photos of Osama bin Laden because their graphic nature could incite violence and create national security risks. Officials told The Associated Press that the Navy SEALs who’d stormed bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan shot and killed him after they saw him appear to lunge for a weapon.
In 2020, New York state reported more than 1,700 previously undisclosed coronavirus deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities. Struggling fashion brand J.Crew became the first major retailer to file for bankruptcy protection since the start of the pandemic. Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula died at 90; he’d won more games than any other NFL coach.
Ten years ago: National Rifle Association leaders told members during a meeting in Houston that the fight against gun control legislation was far from over, and vowed that none in the organization would ever have to surrender their weapons. A limousine taking nine women to a bachelorette party erupted in flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay, killing five of the passengers, including the bride-to-be. Orb powered to a 2 1/2-length victory on a sloppy track to win the Kentucky Derby. Floyd Mayweather came back from a year’s absence to win a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero in their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.
Five years ago: President Donald Trump suggested that his newly-hired attorney Rudy Giuliani needed to “get his facts straight” about the hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election; Giuliani had earlier said that Trump knew about the payment to Daniels made by his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and that Trump had paid Cohen back. The Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel in the 1975 bludgeoning death of a girl in Greenwich, finding that Skakel’s trial attorney had failed to present evidence of an alibi. (The U.S. Supreme Court later left in place the Connecticut high court ruling.) Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols got his 3,000th hit, reaching the mark with a broken-bat single against the Seattle Mariners.
One year ago: Complaining that the West was “stuffing Ukraine with weapons,” Russia pounded railroad stations and other supply-line points across the country, as the European Union moved to further punish Moscow for the war by proposing a ban on oil imports, a crucial source of revenue. Heavy fighting also raged at the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol. Donald Trump Jr., oldest son of former President Donald Trump, met with the congressional committee investigating the 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Comedian Dave Chappelle was tackled during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Security guards chased and overpowered the attacker.
Today’s Birthdays: Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 93. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 86. Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator George Will is 82. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia Davison (The Angels) is 79. Actor Richard Jenkins is 76. Country singer Stella Parton is 74. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 73. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 72. Singer-actor Pia Zadora is 71. R&B singer Oleta Adams is 70. Violinist Soozie Tyrell (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 66. Country singer Randy Travis is 64. Actor Mary McDonough is 62. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 56. Actor Will Arnett is 53. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 51. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 51. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 48. Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 45. Singer Lance Bass (‘N Sync) is 44. Actor Ruth Negga is 42. Rapper/singer Jidenna is 38. Actor Alexander Gould is 29. Country singer RaeLynn is 29. Actor Amara (uh-MAH’-ruh) Miller is 23. Actor Brooklynn Prince (Film: “The Florida Project”) is 13.